Wednesday, May 17, 2017

National Classic Movie Day: Five Stars Blogathon

Asking a serious Classic Movie fan to name the five movie stars they love the most is a serious question indeed. But that is exactly what the Classic Film and TV Café is asking for this years' National Classic Movie Day Blogathon. With such previous hard-hitting questions as your favorite film and what five movies you would take with you on a deserted island, this question is also not an easy one to answer.

I could very easily rattle off my top favorite stars: John Wayne, William Powell, Cary Grant, Olivia de Havilland, and Myrna Loy, all movie stars whose films I love the most. But that's not quite what this blogathon is about. This blogathon is about the movie stars we LOVE. That is the key word here. And so, here are the five movie stars that I LOVE the most. I may not love all of their films, but there is something about each and every one of these stars that makes me love them above all the rest.

Judy Garland

My first idol. For a lot of Classic Movie Fans, it was The Wizard of Oz that started it all. While I don't know exactly what Classic Movie I saw first, growing up on John Wayne, Maureen O'Hara, Bing Crosby, Cary Grant, and live-action Disney films for the 60s, I do know that I have always loved Judy Garland as Dorothy. While it was mainly the red shoes, I loved the magic of the film and most of all, the song "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." I have always tried to emulate her singing style and nothing makes me happier than belting out "The Trolley Song" or "On the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe" as I'm driving somewhere. Judy is also the only one who can make me cry when she gets that catch in her voice. I wish so badly that I could go back in time and protect her from the people who made her life miserable and tell her just how amazing she was and how much she is loved by so many people.

Favorite Films: Love Finds Andy Hardy (1938), The Wizard of Oz (1939), Andy Hardy Meets Debutante (1940), and Girl Crazy (1943).

Other posts on Judy: The Clock (1945) & "Are you a good witch...". Also, look for my post on my Wizard of Oz collection in June for the Judy Garland Blogathon.

William Powell

While I have always enjoyed Classic Movies - I didn't watch anything else growing up - it was William Powell who made me obsessed with them. A few months before I started this blog, and shortly after I finished college, I re-watched the Thin Man movies. For some reason they hadn't really affected me when I watched them in my teens, but this time I couldn't get over the amazing chemistry between William Powell and Myrna Loy. Over the next year, I watched as many of Powell's films as I could, some on YouTube and several on TCM on his birthday. He was brilliant in every single one of them. By watching his films I discovered more great stars which led me to discover even more great stars. He was also one of the reasons I ended up starting a blog, so that I could share my discoveries with others.

Favorite Films: All of them, but especially the ones with Loy. Also Mister Roberts (1955).

Other Posts on Bill: The Emperor's Candlesticks (1937); Libeled Lady (1936); Woody Van Dyke and the Creation of Our Favorite On-Screen Married Couple; Kisses of Nick and Nora; The William Powell Oscar Snubs; Top Ten William Powell Movies

Carole Lombard

Carole Lombard was another re-discovery. I had seen her in My Man Godfrey when I was a teen, but her zany character was a little to much for me to handle. But in the course of watching Powell's films I gave this one a re-watch and enjoyed it much better. I wish I could remember what films of hers I saw next but all I remember is that I quickly came to love this beautiful blond who wasn't afraid to act silly. Mr. and Mrs. Smith and To Be or Not to Be were early favorites. I was devastated when I learned of her untimely death in a plane crash in 1942 and if there was one thing in history I could change that would be it.

Favorite Films: No Man of Her Own (1932), In Name Only (1939), Mr. and Mrs. Smith (1941), and To Be or Not to Be (1942).

Other Posts on Carole: Carole Lombard Models Chic Summer Fashions; Sinners in the Sun (1932); Carole Lombard's Childhood Home; Carole Lombard's Star Sapphires

Lauren Bacall

I discovered Bacall through a special feature on my You've Got Mail (1998) dvd titled "You've Got Chemistry." Not only did it re-introduce me to Powell and Loy, it also introduced me to two couples I didn't know: Errol Flynn & Olivia de Havilland and Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall (the other couples featured were Judy Garland & Mickey Rooney and of course Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan). Bogie I knew but Bacall was new to me. When I saw the clips from To Have and Have Not (1944) I knew this was a film I had to see. I quickly acquired the four films Bogie and Bacall made together from my library and not long after bought the boxed set. For quite some time To Have... was my favorite movie. I read Bacall's autobiography (which I highly recommend) and wrote a post about her amazing eyebrows (seriously, what I wouldn't give to have them). I was so sad when, not long after I had discovered her, she passed away. It was then that I wrote one of my best blog posts, a full year before I started this blog dedicated especially to my newfound passion of Classic Movies (I liked it so much I used it again for the Lauren Bacall Blogathon two years later).

Favorite Films: To Have and Have Not (1944) and Key Largo (1948).

Other Posts on Lauren: Blood Alley (1955); Frank Sinatra and Lauren Bacall


Whenever compiling a list of favorites, the most difficult choice is always the last one because you realize how many persons or things you are having to leave off. Do I pick lifetime favorites John Wayne or Cary Grant? Actors I've had major crushes on like Paul Newman, Aldo Ray, Cliff Robertson, Michael Callan? Ones I've discovered more recently like Olivia de Havilland, Jean Simmons, Dorothy McGuire? If this wasn't Classic Movie Day I'd just make things easy and pick Chris Pine, but since it is my final choice is going to be...

Simone Simon

If you've seen Cat People (1942) you will understand this choice. If you haven't... go watch it. How could I not love her? She is so adorable it's impossible not to love her. I can't even put into words why I love her so much ♥♥♥

Favorite Films: I've only seen four and out of all of them the only one that really good is Cat People (1942).

Post on Simone: Simone Simon ~ The Fetching Feline

Final Note

When listing actors or actresses whose movies I couldn't live without the list is mostly actors, so it's funny that it's mostly actresses that I have the most devotion to. I guess it's because I admire these women so much and wish I could be like them. It is these women who inspire me by their strength and beauty to work toward my goals in life. And it is William Powell that I use as a standard in judging men, which explains why I'm still single... ;)

Finally, go check out the other posts and see what five stars other bloggers have chosen! Maybe you'll discover some new ones!


  1. The special people on your list are well served by the special way in which you wrote about your affection and admiration.

    Our PBS station from Buffalo used to have a host for classic movie screenings. I'll never forget how he introduced The Thin Man by confessing that as a kid, he used to wish that Nick and Nora would move next door so they could be friends. We can certainly relate.

    1. Thanks. And who doesn't love Nick and Nora?

  2. I'm going to take your advice and watch Cat People. I'm not at all familiar with Simone Simon's career, so this will be a good place to start. If you recommend this film, then I know I'll like it, too. :)

    And I thought your list was absolutely swell!

    1. Yay!! It really is a masterpiece of film making. Glad you enjoyed it!

  3. I adore the fact you use justification for picking your favorites and why you left off who you did- it gives us a deeper understanding of your love for the stars- and yes it breaks all of our hearts to leave of that sixth one!!

    1. It's amazing how agonizing it is to leave off someone, like you're betraying them...

  4. Glad you chose Lombard, inspiration for my decade-old blog Carole & Co.-- -- and Powell, my all-time favorite classic actress and actor. (My other three? Myrna Loy, Barbara Stanwyck and Fred MacMurray.)

    1. I hated leaving Myrna Loy out. MacMurray's a pretty swell guy too. I finally got to see Hands Across the Table today, meaning I've seen all four of the films he made with Lombard.

  5. I think we all wish we could go back and give Judy a big hug. I can't wait for her blogathon next month. Such a special woman.

    How great that you picked Simone Simon! I adore her, especially in Cat People. I've been hoping to write a post about that film for almost two years now. Hopefully since I have the Criterion DVD now, it'll be sooner rather than later.

    1. I'm excited for that blogathon too! Looking forward to your post on Cat People whenever you write it! It took me over two years to write mine too. I love it so much I can't put it into words!

  6. How awesome to see Simone Simon on your list! Indeed, she was spellbinding in CAT PEOPLE, but equally good in LA BETE HUMAINE and the under=appreciated CURSE OF THE CAT PEOPLE. William Powell is always delightful. What would Father's Day be without someone showing LIFE WITH FATHER?

    1. I really want to see La Bete Humaine. And I love her in Curse of.. too. It wasn't what I expected though.